Back out drop shotting again yesterday conditions were hard. Bright sun light clear water and a lot of canoeist managed only 4 fish biggest going 2lb 7oz. It was an absolute stunning fish in perfect condition colours were amazing i soon will be on the chub so i think the perch fishing will take a back step.
With another trip to the canal last night i manage a few more big perch on the drop shot but still chasing that fish of a life time. It was hard to start off with. The area i have recently been catching turning up nothing so i had to move after a couple of hours i managed to catch a small perch of around 8 oz i couldn’t believe my eyes when i saw the size of the 3 fish that followed it in, the biggest could have been pushing 4 pounds. Back out i went again and pretty much within a minute i had a perch of 3lb 6oz again back out and lost one good fish. I had a few fish ranging a round 1lb to maybe pushing 2lb. Gutted about the quality of one of the pictures below had the camera on the wrong setting.
One perch still had its dinner rammed down its neck.
With loads to do around the house this weekend i made the effort to get up early this weekend and get a couple of hours in drop shotting on the canal. I can’t say its something i do a lot of but there is some good spots on the canal where you can catch a huge number of small fish or even a few decent fish. All this at a stones throw from where you park your car “EASY FISHING” thats what i call it pick your rod, lures and camera and just go for an hour or two.
My set up consist of a o.5 gram to 11gram lure rod 6lb G-soul braid and 4lb fluorocarbon hook length the hook size will depend on what size lure i will use, the size of weight will be determined by where i am fishing (depth, flow, current or size of lure).
Today the venue was to be the Exeter Ship canal a venue which is only a quick 10 minutes from me, easy parking and if one spot fails to produce its easy and quick to drive to the next spot. More than anything else this canal holds some very big perch but it can be a very hard and challenging at the same time.
I have various lures lures to use my favourite being the Gary Yamamoto Tiny Ika in pink this lure has caught me some fairly decent sized perch and i class this as a medium sized lure. We can go a lot smaller and hit the lrf lures but a lot of time this will result in catching small fish. Or we could head to the other end of the scale and fish bigger drop shot lures like the Dying minnows or worms.
Target Areas for the perch would be around the lock gates, deeper water, side of walls, under bridges and platforms the list is endless. I don’t normally fish the drop shot at distance, to myself it seems pointless i would fish distance with a jig head. Drop shooting i want to really hold it in one place for some time and perhaps wait for shoaling fish then entice them into a strike.
There are so many different types of hooks and drop shot weights the list is endless offset hooks hooks with swivels and recoil braid most of the time i like to keep it simple with a straight forward drop shot hook tied with a palomar knot and ball drop shot weight. 4ft of fluro carbon between the braid and business end.
It was 04.30 and i was out the door off up the canal to catch first light. I wanted to be on the canal and get a couple of hours fishing in before the whole world turned up walking their dogs, rowing, canoeing every thing people can do to scare the fish and ruin a days fishing. The canal can be so busy on weekends and even in the week. With it still being pretty dark on arrival i could not see much threading the line through my rod eyes, this was a task on its let alone tying a Allbright Knot or a palomer Knot.
After straining my eyes and about 20 attempts at tying knots i was finally there all i needed was a soft plastic lure on the hook. The light was starting to show and fish were starting to top every where, a huge wild canal carp topped off the far bank not one of these over fed fat commercial things. This carp must have been in its 30″s plus a real dark brown colour. Pike were chasing bait fish along the surface, roach topping its amazing how much surface action is about when there is no one else around.
First cast and i had a fish of around 8 ounces then second cast i have had this little beautiful looking fish pictured below. It gave a right scrap as well especially when it got out into the flow fought better than what it should have done for its size. Its gives me such a buz when you see that green gold colour coming up through the water.
I continued to fish and it was a bite a chuck loads of fish around the size pictured below and right little scrappers as well. I fished the area out managing about 4 fish around a pound as well. Then later loosing a fish of a lifetime at the net and another fish between pound and half to two pound to a lump of a pike.
For the last 2 months i have been trying to catch these far and few between big perch on the Exeter canal with out succes, loosing one a month ago towards the turfs and having a couple of fish around the pound and a half size in other locations on the canal i was back off again in search of one of those lumps around the 3 to 4 pound mark. Theres a lot of quality fish in this canal roach, bream, carp and pike but it always has been a problem locating them with the length and depth of the canal its not really similar to other canals. Built in the 1560’s to allow boats to bypass the series of weirs on the river Exe to take the boats to the key in exeter and then over the years it was widened and lengthened and depend. It has an average depth of 12ft to 15 ft and in places can be deep. the set up i was going to use was a Yamaga Blank blue current 0.5 gram to 11gram lrf rod, shimano Exage 3000 reel loaded with 6 lb braid and using and using 4 to 6 lb fluro carbon hook length. Depending on what type of method i would be fishing would depend on what wire trace or if i would use a wire trace preferably something like knot to kinky or the savage gear titanium hook lengths. when using small lures i always use a very fine and most importantly very supple wire trace. if drop shooting i wouldn’t use any trace. First stop was to be up in the basin but the Clarity of the water was not great and i expected a tough time in there but still you never Know. Starting off on a little savage gear shad and on the second chuck i had a follow from a pike estimated in its twenties but turned away within few feet of the rod tip. After an hour and a half one follow thats as exciting as it got. Normally there can be some great fishing up here but the fish prefer the water to be a lot clearer. On the higher stretch of the canal the water discolours when the river is dirty or in flood because the two are attached by gates.
With the fishing being poor in the Basin i decided to head off down the canal towards the double locks a great holding area like the basin for fish. With the water being deeper and there being a certain amount of flow i decided to use a drop shot rig for the fish. The flow would assist in the performance of my lure. Using a 7 gram vike tungsten weight and a Decoy size 3 drop shot hook and 4 lb fluro carbon for the hook length. I hooked on a Gary Yamamoto Tiny Ika in bubble gum colour. The one good thing about fishing for perch is that they are not hook or line shy.
The Gary Yamamoto Ika has been a great lure for the perch when drop shoting and especially in the bubble gum colour i have managed some cracking fish on these. I have used this lure for wrasse as well but in different colours and has always been very productive. There are some great Gary Yamamoto soft plastics out there and some which i am going to use for the perch and chub over the next few months for the perch chub and Wrasse so watch out for future post. I get a lot of my soft plastics from John at lure heaven he stocks a huge range of the Gary Yamamoto soft plastics along with everything else needed for the drop shot rig.
With a Ika on the hook I started to fish away dropping my rig down the edge and within a few minutes i had my first fish of about 10oz giving up a right little scrap on light gear. Back in i went and then another fish but it came off then I pulled out a fish of about a pound. The bite continued to come i could see a lot of small perch down the edge along with some small roach. I kept hearing and spotting some splashes at first i thought it was roach taking flies of the top because there was a big hatch of them. I then managed to spot a fish and another come up to the surface it was not roach but big Perch estimated at around 2 pound then i spotted another but a little bigger. They were taking flies off the top I had never seen anything like this before i didn’t even realise they eat flies. I Know that friends have had perch at Roadford reservoir but they have been on big trout flies not on small dry flies. I have never seen anything like this before.
I Continued to fish on but then i spotted an amarda of rowers coming towards me and just about to ruin my fishing there was about 6 boats and a safety craft coming straight to where i was fishing “GREAT” All i could do was move because i had no chance of me catching any fish whilst they get their boats out the water so i moved to the opposite side of the canal out the way. Dropping my rig down the edge i and working my lure i felt a tug and i had a better fish on after a short fight i manage to get it to the top a lovely perch of 36cm not quite one of the canal lumps but still a beautiful fish.
I continued to fish on hooking several smaller fish around the pound size but then the bites started to dry up probably due to the fading light. It had been an enjoyable evening but still those big lumps seem to avoid me.